Computing Vocational Taster


Mark Cullen

Subject Lead for Computing & Communications Coordinator

Section A: Complete at least 3 challenges over 10 hours (1 credit)

Challenge 1

Create a basic manual explaining the main components of a PC. Include images and descriptions of each. Use your manual to teach a family member what makes up a PC.


Challenge 2

Find and photograph the components of:

  • the LAN (local area network) in your centre
  • one other network

Produce diagrams of both networks

Challenge 3

Show you can install operating systems on a newly built PC or virtual machine. Set up the machine to dual boot into 2 different operating systems.

Create a presentation or short video that others could use as a guide

Challenge 4

Research the different types of storage media available. Show which type of storage device you would recommend, and why, for the following:

  • a gamer building a new computer for home gaming
  • a systems administrator wanting a reliable solution for his business
  • a small business looking to move 10GB file between 2 computers
Challenge 5

One way to add protection to a network is to install a firewall. In a group, discuss the disadvantages of having a firewall and any negative effects for users. State your recommendations.


Challenge 6

Passwords are an important part of network security. Research good password policies and create a poster explaining how to choose and maintain good passwords.

Find the top 10 passwords in use on the Internet and show how they could be strengthened.


Challenge 7

Many people want to use their own devices, such as tablets and smartphones, at work. From a security standpoint, describe some problems a business might encounter with BYOD (bring your own device).

Discuss and agree a BYOD policy for your centre.




Section B: Complete 1 or 2 challenges over 10 hours (1 credit)

Challenge 1

Many high-profile companies have been the victim of malicious hacking events exposing the personal data of customers.

Produce a report on 2 high-profile cases, including:


Challenge 2

Examine the different risks faced by individuals and companies from component failure. Include examples of real-world mistakes resulting from poor backup practices.

Prepare a report comparing backup procedures. Note their complexity, cost and which methods you would recommend for individuals, small and large companies.

Challenge 3

A company wants to send some private data to a client and has suggested using email.

Research the steps involved in sending an email, paying particular attention to privacy. Produce a report telling the company whether email is the correct tool for this task, providing alternatives, if appropriate.

Challenge 4

Create a flowchart to describe how to convert a website URL to the address of the machine it is hosted on. Pay particular attention to IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.

Create a campaign (e.g. presentation, poster, video) to persuade a network administrator to convert from using IPv4 to IPv6.

Challenge 5

Research hardware virtualisation and its impact on the IT industry.

Based on the current IT infrastructure in your centre, produce a report on how you would go about migrating to a virtualised solution. Include the risks, costs and benefits of such a move.